Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Quantitative studies were eligible for inclusion in the review of intervention studies. Both comparative studies and before-and-after studies were included. Follow-up periods ranged from 20 days to 6 months.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies assessing any intervention aimed at improving patient compliance with ocular hypotensive treatment were eligible for inclusion. Studies of interventions aimed at reducing other forms of noncompliance such as excessive use of medication, involuntary noncompliance, noncompliance with follow-up appointments, or a combination of different forms of noncompliance, were excluded from the review. Studies comparing compliance with different types of drugs were also excluded. The interventions included in the review varied but were aimed at either educating or counselling patients, aiding their memory, or both. The control groups, where applicable, were no treatment; one trial compared counselling and a memory aid with counselling alone.
Participants included in the review
Studies of patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension who required ocular hypotensive treatment were eligible for inclusion. The majority of trials included only glaucoma patients with either open-angle or chronic simple glaucoma; one trial included glaucoma and ocular hypertensive patients.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Eligible studies had to report some measure of the level of treatment compliance, defined as the degree of correspondence between the prescribed treatment regimen and the patient’s actual dosing history. Studies that assessed other forms of noncompliance without reporting separate data for treatment compliance were excluded from the review. The outcomes assessed in the review included: amount of drug used; patient’s own estimate of compliance; percentage of time patients remembered to take their medication; mean number of repeat prescription refill requests; proportion of missed doses; the proportion of time exceeding the recommended 8-hour dose interval; and intraocular pressure.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
Two reviewers independently assessed the relevance of studies and any disagreements were resolved through discussion.